Encinitas celebrates Dia de los Muertos at Oct. 28 event


Encinitas Friends of the Arts (EFA) and the City of Encinitas announce the 4th annual Encinitas Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

The free festival takes place on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024. Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear will make welcoming remarks and select the first opportunity drawing.

“This city event raises awareness and an appreciation for this significant Latino cultural celebration,” said Mayor Blakespear. “Last year’s event drew several thousand people and we anticipate a larger response this year.”

The family-friendly celebration will include continuous performances. Danza Azteca Fuego will bless the Ofrendas with ancient traditional dances, followed by Ballet Folklorico de San Dieguito, Ballet Folklorico El Tapatio, Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego, Ballet Folklorico Caliztlan Escondido, Encinitas Ballet, and Mariachi Real de San Diego. The festival ends with Banda music and dancing with La Ponderosa Banda San Martin. The festival includes skull face painting, tissue flowers and sugar skull art-making workshops, a Day of the Dead art exhibit by Paul Ecke Central School students, and numerous ladies dressed as “Catrinas” for selfie photos. Outside will be a low rider car show by the Por Siempre Car Club, artist demonstrations, vendors and food trucks.

A Community Ofrenda—or remembrance altar—will feature a replica of the Surfing Madonna, by artist Mark Patterson. “Having the Surfing Madonna in the Ofrenda makes this a uniquely Encinitas event,” said Jim Gilliam, Arts Program Administrator for the city. All are invited to honor the memory of a loved one or friend by contributing a photograph or non-valuable remembrance to the Ofrendas.

A Community Ofrenda will also be on view in the lobby of the Encinitas Library, located at 540 Cornish Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024, along with a Day of the Dead student art exhibit and Family Altars, from October 26 through November 2, 2017. “We’re excited to expand our Day of the Dead week at the library and look forward to the altars that local families will make,” said William Sannwald, Encinitas Library Supervisor. The library will host a skull making workshop at 5pm on Oct. 19 and 26, and a Death Café workshop at 3:30pm on Oct. 26. All are free of charge, contact the library at 760-753-7376 for details, or visit:

Beatriz Villarreal, Program Director of the Mano a Mano Foundation, will emcee the event. “This is a huge deal for the Latino community,” said Dr. Villarreal. “Dia de los Muertos provides people with the opportunity to rejoice in the living memories of their loved ones. It is an important way to celebrate our culture and serves as an educational resource, teaching people around the world about our traditions.” Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a celebration of life and remembrance, is traditionally celebrated each year on November 1 and 2.

“Encinitas has the second-highest number of artists per capita in San Diego County and it is a pleasure and a thrill to work with many of them in shaping this event,” said EFA President, Naimeh Tanha Woodward. “I look forward to highlighting their artistry and celebrating Dia de los Muertos with our community.”

Encinitas Dia de los Muertos is made possible by funding from the City of Encinitas and Mizel Family Foundation Community Grant Program, the County of San Diego, Encinitas Friends of the Arts.

For a schedule of events, or for more information, please visit:, or call 760-633-2746.